I began blogging in 2004 at the behest of my friend Dave Forstrom, who’s now a public relations manager at Microsoft. “You have passion about everything you do, Rob,” he said, “along with no drought of opinion or lack of creative thought.” I thanked him for the kind words and tried very hard to convince him that I was just another regular, boring guy. I further told him my docket was full with all sorts of other “marketing” things to do. He persisted, so I capitulated and began writing. As a former engineer, I was never one to shy away from the avant-garde, but little did I know how transformative blogging could be. Remember, it wasn’t until some years after this that the blogosphere truly had its tipping point.
When I began my blogging journey, I was with a company that supplied information security solutions to the marketplace. Having recently left a successful stint at IBM, I was rediscovering my creative running legs. My initial blog entries back then were arguably somewhat vanilla, perhaps reflecting a bit of my public relations prose. Then something changed. Around that time, I found an important segment of the technology industry chasing yet another BFRH (big fat red herring) and I decided to challenge it. Initially, I was greeted with some skepticism, but then supportive emails began arriving, followed by links from other blogs, and subsequently requests for broader syndication. A great debate was smoldering, then ignited when Dave Kearns, one of the great technology writers for Network World, poured some gas on it. Separately, Mike Rothman from Security Incite, the ultimate protagonist/antagonist, was also having a bonfire of his own on this topic and soon everything came together into a great conflagration. Expectations were reset and companies around the world were better off – and more secure – for it. A few blog entries were the sparks that lit up and impacted an entire industry.
Over the years, I’ve had several corporate blogs in which I injected my voice into otherwise mundane topics, making them a bit more palatable, pithy, and – at times – amusing. I’ve also been fortunate to have shared excellent blogs with some great partners, such as Ian Glazer, now an analyst with the Burton Group. I learned that if you blog for yourself, you eat by yourself; if you blog with a broader voice, you share a banquet with many others. And you can have an impact. I’ll continue to do the corporate blogs, but now I look forward to sharing thoughts on a vast array of topics, or as I subtitled this blog: markets, musings & meanders. Life is much too interesting to sit idly by on the sidelines.